Saturday, March 3, 2012

Menace calling

 

The phone rang at 4 a.m. Menace owns the overnight hours, incompatible with dawn's promise. Otherworldly shades occupy the window and throw scraps of shadow to feed greedy doubts. Gremlins call when no one is awake to save you.

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This is my response to Trifecta's Week 6 Trifextra Challenge. The prompt (not to be included in the 33 words—precisely—that the challenge requires, was "The phone rang at 4 a.m."

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I've been fascinated with the overnight hours for a long, long time. When I was 12 I tried to stay awake all night watching TV and keeping a notebook by my side to record the "action" (um, there wasn't any) and to prove to myself in the morning that I'd managed the exercise without dozing off.

I loved the middle of the night feedings with my kids. Sure, I got exhausted by them in short order, but I relished being awake when few others were, doing something feeding, burping, diaper changing) that was so important it had to be addressed in the small hours.

But I never could imagine leaving the house at that time of night. Everything's less certain at 4 a.m. How can we be sure were in the same world we were in when the sun went down?